Pujols drops suit after getting public apology

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols deceased a defamation lawsuit towards Jack Clark on mon after Clark issued the statement retracting his earlier comments alleging that Pujols had used performance-enhancing medicines.

Albert Pujols has consistently maintained that he has never used performance-enhancing medicines. "I  accepted Jack Clark's retraction and apology to resolve the lawsuit against him plus clear my name, inch Pujols said in a declaration released Monday evening.

Clark created a mix on St. Louis sports activities talk radio last summer time when he said this individual knew "for a fact'' that Pujols was a "juicer, '' and added that he had knowledge of an instructor who had given PEDs to the veteran slugger. Clark's radio show was consequently cancelled. Pujols has consistently maintained that he has never used performance-enhancing medicines.

 

"I would like to address Albert Pujols' impending defamation lawsuit and re-confirm that I have no knowledge in any way that Mr. Pujols offers ever used illegal or even banned PEDs, " clark simon said in a statement that was initially reported by the St . Louis Post-Dispatch. "I openly retract my statements that will Albert Pujols used this kind of substances. During a heated conversation on air, I misspoke and for that I sincerely apologize. "Pujols, 33, made nine All-Star teams and won 3 MVP awards in eleven seasons with the Cardinals prior to leaving St. Louis in order to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels in December 2011. ESPN. com MLB Sr. Writer

 

Stamkos making progress, gets contact in practice

 

Steven Stamkos took some light contact in practice Saturday. (USATSI)
Steven Stamkos took some gentle contact in follow Saturday. (USATSI)

 

The dramatic restoration of Steven Stamkos took one other positive step Saturday morning because the Tampa Bay Lightning star started taking light contact in observe. After breaking his right tibia on Nov. eleven, Stamkos' highway to recovery may be even forward of the place he thought it would be at this point.

He took a number of bumps from Martin St. Louis along the boards throughout Tampa's morning skate ahead of the Lightning's sport towards the Colorado Avalanche.

Stamkos spoke about his progress with the Tampa Times:

"I am very pleased with how the bone is healing," Stamkos said. "I believe it is pretty shut to a point the place it comes down to how I'm feeling out there."

Stamkos' x-rays revealed sufficient bone formation where the leg is steady, and while there's some tender tissue ache, he's felt good every time he is examined it further, together with doing extra jumping in the health club Thursday evening.

Stamkos mentioned the additional time he is put on the ice has helped together with his conditioning, though admits when he will get back "it'll really feel like the start of the 12 months again." There might be one other x-ray taken in a pair weeks, at the 12-week point, which he believes will likely be extra for "psychological functions."

This is obviously good news for the Lightning and Staff Canada as Stamkos may very well be nearing his return to sport motion. He was named to the Canadian Olympic workforce somewhat optimistically as his progress from the damage seemed favorable for a pre-Sochi return to the Lightning lineup.

With the best way issues have progressed, it appears Stamkos will probably be ready in time for the Olympics.

As soon as Stamkos goes from mild contact to full contact in practice, it should imply his return to recreation motion is imminent.

The jokes about Stamkos being a cyborg with such fast restoration from a serious harm might be much less funny at this level, mainly because they sound true. It's important to credit Stamkos for his dedication to the rehabilitation. There most likely aren't many individuals on the planet that would do what he is executed over the past 11 weeks.

Before his damage, Stamkos was off to the most effective starts of his career. He had 14 objectives and 23 points in 17 video games.

Stamkos may not be capable of choose up exactly the place he left off, however he should be an enormous increase to a Lightning squad that has managed simply tremendous with out him, surprisingly sufficient.

 

No Braves or Cubs logo for Maddux HOF plaque

The rain will be washing away the logo upon Greg Maddux's hat, evidently.

(Getty Images)cutline text here too
Thursday, the football Hall of Fame announced the cover selections for the plaques associated with 2014 inductees Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, later on Torre and Bobby Cox. not surprisingly, Cox and Glavine will be wearing Braves caps on their respective plaques.

Also obvious was the selection of Thomas sporting the White Sox hat. campanario gets a Yankees head wear, which isn't terribly amazing considering he was selected as a manager, not a player.

 

The other 2 – La Russa plus Maddux – are going to obtain plaques with blank hats.

here is the rationale, via the Hall associated with Fame's official website.

“The Museum personnel works with each inductee simply by suggesting an appropriate logo choice, or no logo at all, ” said Jeff Idelson, chief executive of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “For all those whose most compelling efforts clearly took place with 1 team, a logo makes sense. For those whose careers had been built significantly among several teams, not having a group logo is equally suitable. Regardless of the selection, a corridor of Famer belong to each team for which he performed or managed, as well as each fan who followed their career. ”

 

La Russa handled the White Sox with regard to eight seasons, the Athletics for 10 years and the capital for his final sixteen seasons. He won 3 pennants and a World collection with the A's while getting home three pennants plus two World Series within St. Louis. He received manager of the year two times in Oakland and once within St. Louis. Not selecting between the A's and capital make some sense here.

 

Maddux invested parts of 10 seasons with the Cubs and 11 with the Braves, but his figures are substantially different as most of his prime came in Atlanta. Here are his figures with each franchise side by side:

 

audacieux: 194-88, 2. 63 period, 163 ERA+, 1. 05 WHIP, three Cy Youngs

Cubs: 133-112, 3. 61 ERA, 112 ERA+, 1. 25 mix, one Cy Young

It seems reasonable to say that Maddux should be wearing a Braves cap and that the plaque itself could point out his involvement with the Cubs. But here is Maddux's declaration:

“My spouse Kathy and I grew up within baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing encounter in Atlanta with the audacieux. It's impossible for me to choose one of those teams for the Hall of Fame plaque, as the followers of both clubs within each of those cities had been so wonderful. I can't think of having my Hall of Fame inauguration ? introduction without support of both of those fan bases, so , for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo. ”

 

Fair enough. I more than likely argue with my perfect favorite player, so rock and roll that blank cap, Greg's plaque.

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Hitchcock: G’s Halak, Elliott will keep splitting time

Halak and Elliott are back to sharing the St. Louis net. (Getty Images)
Halak and Elliott are again to sharing the St. Louis net. (Getty Photographs)

More NHL: Scores | Standings | League Leaders | Odds | Accidents | Power Rankings

When the season began, the St. Louis Blues seemed set on having one clear starter in internet – Jaroslav Halak. For a few seasons he and Brian Elliott had been competing within the cage and sharing the duties, making for attention-grabbing choices come playoff time however the plan was that may come to an end this season.

It began off that manner with Halak getting true No. 1 minutes but things have after all gone off schedule and the two are again to sharing the online as they did two seasons ago once they mixed to with the Jennings Trophy.

An illness to Halak gave Elliott a shot at beginning and he took full advantage. He has now performed in 20 video games this season, posting a 13-2-2 file with a925 save proportion. Halak in the meantime is 19-6-three with a912 save share in 30 video games. It is robust not to maintain enjoying each so coach Ken Hitchcock will not even strive. From Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Put up-Dispatch:

“It felt good, so we did it,” Hitchcock stated [of starting Halak in his first sport back]. “Brian has performed effectively, Jaro has performed really well, both guys should keep enjoying, so we will preserve taking part in both guys.

“With so many hockey games – that is six in 10 nights – we know each man is probably going to must play three games. So we just felt like Jaro performed very effectively, let’s hold that one going.”

There are a few attention-grabbing angles at play on this. For starters, each goalies are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season so splitting the job will seemingly have an effect on how the Blues deal with that scenario. Secondly, the Blues have been talked about as a staff that would be most likely to land Ryan Miller ought to the Sabres trade him. Effectively if the Blues are back to having a two-goalie system that Hitchcock likes and is working, that would seem to take them out of the Miller equation. Third is how it impacts prospect Jake Allen, who played pretty properly final season amid Halak’s injuries and Elliott’s struggles.

From the sounds of it Halak will stay the No. 1 guy however instead of being a 1-2 combo, it seems to be just like the Blues are back to having a 1-1A combo. There are undoubtedly worst issues to have.

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Seahawks clinch NFC’s top seed with win

Seahawks Clinch Prime Seed In NFC

The Seahawks clinch house field throughout the NFC playoffs with a 27-9 win over the Rams.

Seahawks Clinch High Seed In NFC

 

SEATTLE – Once the doorways to the Seattle Seahawks' locker room opened, the music got here blaring out. Players danced whereas nonetheless in uniform and donned hats studying "NFC West Champions."

On their third attempt, the Seahawks lastly bought to rejoice after wrapping up the division title and residential-discipline benefit within the playoffs with a 27-9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Having failed two occasions previously, Seattle ensured the highway to the Tremendous Bowl in the NFC goes via the Pacific Northwest.

"We will test the NFC West off our record," quarterback Russell Wilson said, "but we still have much more to do."

Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to get Seattle began, Marshawn Lynch added a 2-yard scoring run in the second half and the Seahawks (13-3) matched the franchise document for wins in a season.

By doing so, the favorites within the NFC for most of the season finally wrapped up the No. 1 seed after losses to San Francisco and last week to Arizona, which snapped a 14-game residence profitable streak.

Seattle gained the hardest division in the NFL behind the league's finest protection. The Seahawks' house area remains to be feared, and they're going to host Green Bay, New Orleans or San Francisco within the divisional round in two weeks.

Seattle's mixed record at residence the past two seasons in opposition to those three teams: four-0.

"It is more of a sense of accomplishment," Smith said. "It might have been actually sad if we didn't get that finished, however we're completely satisfied to be within the position that we're in."

Wilson finished 15 of 23 for 172 yards. Lynch finished with ninety seven yards on 23 carries, his finest game since running for a season-greatest one hundred forty five yards against Atlanta in Week 10

Seattle capped the victory with a forty seven-yard landing pass from Wilson to Golden Tate early within the fourth quarter that lacked the unsportsmanlike wave that bought Tate flagged on an identical TD reception in St. Louis earlier this season. Tate finished with eight catches for 129 yards, both profession highs in his closing common-season game before he becomes a free agent.

But with house-area advantage wrapped up, there could be a few postseason video games still to come for Tate and the Seahawks.

"It is an superior feeling. It is an incredible feeling to really feel like you really helped in this game," Tate stated.

The one different time Seattle had house-field advantage was 2005, the only time the Seahawks have reached the Super Bowl. They'll get every week of relaxation before hosting in the divisional spherical, they usually may need the time off after a pair of key injuries Sunday to defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (groin) and tight end Luke Willson (leg).

Willson was taken off the sphere on a cart in the fourth quarter with an air solid on his leg. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the staff believes it's not broken. Still, the upcoming week off is required.

"I positively need it. I was getting smacked right now," Tate said.

Seattle's defense closed the season with one among its most interesting performances. It began with Smith's interception return for a landing per week after he was tackled at the 3-yard line trying to score on an interception return.

Nevertheless it went past simply the two interceptions Seattle grabbed to finish the season with a league-main 28. Led by Mebane, Seattle's line of defense flustered Kellen Clemens. Zac Stacy, who needed forty two yards speeding to achieve 1,000 on the season, was held to fifteen yards on 15 carries. The Rams had thirteen yards dashing, tied for the fewest allowed in Seattle history.

"They had about 9 guys down there within the box," Clemens said. "You solely have about seven or eight to block they usually did a good job."

Seattle also saved its cool while St. Louis was shedding its composure.

The Rams (7-9) have been penalized 12 instances for 87 yards. St. Louis was flagged for four personal foul penalties in the span of two performs late in the third quarter – two on Alec Ogletree and two on Kendall Langford.

Langford was flagged for making contact with an official, which appeared inadvertent. Langford was ejected and have become incensed, slamming his helmet to the turf as he left the sphere.

Two performs later Lynch walked in from the two, Seattle led 20-3 and the celebration was just getting began.

"This entire factor simply looks like a dream to me," Seattle safety Kam Chancellor mentioned. "It feels good proper now simply to see my brothers joyful."

Recreation notes

Tate became the first Seattle player with at the very least eight receptions in a recreation since

Doug Baldwin

in 2011… Rams P

Johnny Hekker

set an NFL record for web yards punting for a season. Hekker had a forty four.2 web average. The earlier report was 44.zero by San Francisco's

Andy Lee

in 2011… St. Louis DE

Robert Quinn

had one sack and completed with 19 for the season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Saints mull lineup changes after Rams loss

METAIRIE, La. – Saints coach Sean Payton made it obvious Monday that he is considering several personnel changes after being just like frustrated by the team’s performance upon film as he was following the 27-16 road loss to the St Louis Rams a day earlier.

Garrett HartleyGarrett Hartley, who skipped two kicks in Sunday’s reduction at St . Louis, may be at risk to losing his job.

Payton had been asked specifically about the status associated with left tackle Charles Brown plus kicker Garrett Hartley – plus both times he declined to obtain specifics. But he repeatedly managed to get clear that all options will be regarded as, especially with an upcoming game with Carolina that will make or break the particular Saints’ chances at the No . two seed in the NFC and a first-round bye.

When the Saints (10-4) win, they will secure the 2-seed. If they lose towards the Panthers (10-4), they’ll need to earn and have Carolina lose in 7 days 17.

“It’s our jobs very quickly here having an important game coming up to make modifications – and then also to look carefully at who we’re asking to perform certain things, ” Payton stated.

When questioned specifically about Hartley, who skipped two field goals Sunday, Payton responded with a general answer: “Listen, I think we’re looking closely each and every element. You know, I told these days in the team meeting we’re searching closely at each aspect of this group. And not trying to read into our answer, I just think it’s important for all of us to do that.

“Whether it’s [the kicker], the deal with position, whether it’s a player on protection, the one thing I know I don’t wish to accomplish is just repeat the process over and over again. So we are going to gonna look closely at exactly what our options are and what gives all of us the best chance as we get ready to try out this coming week and then certainly one week remaining. ”

Last month when Hartley was going through a rough area, the Saints brought in five kickers for tryouts to update their particular emergency list – including in long run veterans Neil Rackers and Shayne Graham.

Payton already took the drastic phase to pull Brown during the third one fourth of Sunday’s game after Dark brown was repeatedly being burned simply by Rams pass-rusher Robert Quinn. Yet on Monday, Payton stressed that will Brown wasn’t the only player battling in the game – rattling off the laundry list of frustrations.

“In fairness to your pet, I think there were a lot of other things all of us didn’t do well in that game, inch Payton said. “We didn’t especially run the ball efficiently. Defensively we really struggled, giving up some huge plays. You know, you had the one complete [that] goes up the particular sidelines with eight guys viewing. You have a couple long runs, skipped tackles.

“The kicking game, we can’t punch a field goal. You know, we have one particular blocked, which was a low trajectory stop. The other one we just shanked to the left. We get an onside kick against us. We’re notify all week for that possibility.

“So it’s difficult to just say or pick out a single specific player. Obviously when you’re with left tackle, it becomes more obvious… But we’ll put a lot of believed into the best approach this week once we get ready to play Carolina. ”

When asked just how he tries to balance whether a man just had a bad day or even needs to be replaced, Payton said, “Well, it’s a good question. You spend lots of time looking at body of work, creation. And I think if it’s something that has recurring itself and is not going to change, i then think you look closely in what are your other options. ”

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NFL Week 15 QB Report

Matt Cassel, Kellen Clemens, and Ryan TannehillUSA AS WE SPEAK Sports activities, Getty PhotosMatt Cassel, left, Kellen Clemens and Ryan Tannehill led their teams to shocking victories Sunday.

Our weekly deep dive into NFL quarterback play. Many due to our associates at ESPN Stats & Information for supplying analysis and information to drive this post. Do not forget that Total QBR runs on a scale of zero-a hundred. The size for traditional passer ranking is zero-158.three.

OF NOTICE

Matt Cassel
Passer rating: 116.6
QBR: 96.3
Analysis: Cassel’s 382 yards had been essentially the most by a Minnesota Vikings quarterback in three years. He was aggressive all through, driving 25 “exterior” passes (defined as outside the numbers). He completed 19 of them for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He also scorched the Philadelphia Eagles’ blitz, finishing 10 of thirteen passes against it for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Finally, he capitalized on his chemistry with receiver Greg Jennings, completing 11 of the 13 passes he targeted him on. Included in that group were three passes thrown no less than 20 yards downfield.

Kellen Clemens
Passer score: 126.7
QBR: 95.7
Analysis: Clemens’ hot start lifted the St. Louis Rams to an early lead they by no means relinquished against the New Orleans Saints. He accomplished seven of eight passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, the first a number of-landing quarter of his profession. Each scoring passes came towards the Saints’ blitz, and he was not sacked for the primary recreation all season. Prior to Sunday, he had taken a minimum of two sacks in every game he had performed in.

Ben Roethlisberger
Passer score: ninety five.2
QBR: 90.1
Evaluation: Roethlisberger accomplished his first 12 makes an attempt, including seven within the first quarter because the Pittsburgh Steelers took a 21-zero lead against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers performed the quick sport towards the Bengals, and it worked. Roethlisberger tried only two passes that traveled at the least 15 yards downfield. One was intercepted. Of his 191 whole yards, 114 got here after the catch. The Bengals didn’t strain him a lot, however Roethlisberger completed all three of his passes when under duress, together with one for a touchdown.

Ryan Tannehill
Passer score: one hundred twenty.6
QBR: eighty two.2
Analysis: Before Sunday, Tannehill had the NFL’s No. 21 QBR in the fourth quarter. But in the Miami Dolphins’ victory Sunday against the New England Patriots, Tannehill accomplished seven of 11 passes for 2 touchdowns. He had success driving the ball downfield all through the sport, completing 12 of 18 passes for 217 yards and a landing on throws that traveled at the very least 10 yards in the air. Receiver Mike Wallace caught a season-excessive 4 of these 12 completions (in seven targets) for ninety yards.

Cutler

Jay Cutler
Passer score:

102.2

QBR:

eighty four.7

Analysis:

Aside from a number of forced balls toward favored receiver

Brandon Marshall

, Cutler produced an encouraging performance against the

Cleveland Browns

. He missed on seven of 13 passes towards Marshall, two of which were intercepted, but accomplished sixteen of 18 passes to all different receivers. Cutler accomplished all but one in every of his 12 passes on third down, for 151 yards and two scores, and his QBR on third downs this season is 91.5, the second-finest mark in the NFL. Likewise, he continued his good work within the fourth quarter, completing five of seven makes an attempt for two touchdowns. His QBR in the fourth quarter this season is an NFL-high ninety five.2.

Eli Manning
Passer score: 31.9
QBR: 2.1
Analysis: Manning produced his worst single-game QBR since not less than 2006, which his way back to ESPN’s database goes. His five interceptions tied a New York Giants single-sport document, and gave him the franchise career record of 169. He threw eleven passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield, but only two have been complete and four have been intercepted. His 5.zero yards per attempt on all throws had been a season low. For good measure, he also took three sacks and fumbled twice. (He lost neither.)

ROUNDING OUT THE WEEK

Colin Kaepernick
Passer ranking: 108.8
QBR: ninety three.4
Briefly: Kaepernick accomplished 15 of 21 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns in opposition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ normal strain, better than he usually does in such conditions. Coming into Week thirteen, Kaepernick had thrown extra interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (5) towards four or fewer cross-rushers.

Rivers

Philip Rivers
Passer ranking:

120.zero

QBR:

ninety two.four

Briefly:

Rivers tried 20 passes and threw for 166 yards, each season lows, as the

San Diego Chargers

emphasised their floor game in a road victory towards the

Denver Broncos

. Rivers has more than 20 makes an attempt in 117 of his 126 profession begins.

Alex Smith
Passer ranking: 158.three
QBR: ninety.7
Briefly: Here’s how you avoid the errors involved in doing more than what is necessary: Smith threw five display passes, completing all of them, and 5 play-motion passes Sunday. Of his 287 yards, 217 got here after the catch. He attempted only five passes that traveled greater than five yards downfield.

Carson Palmer
Passer rating: one hundred.eight
QBR: 86.6
Briefly: Palmer prevented a turnover for the second consecutive sport, each of which have been victories for the Arizona Cardinals.

Luck

Andrew Luck
Passer score:

82.eight

QBR:

seventy nine.7

Briefly:

Luck is 20-10 as an NFL starter, the sixth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win in no less than 20 instances in his first two seasons.

Tom Brady
Passer score: eighty five.7
QBR: seventy one.7
Briefly: Brady has played 5 games in his profession at Miami during the months of December or January. He has lost 4 of them.

EJ Manuel
Passer score: one zero five.zero
QBR: seventy one.three
Briefly: Manuel rebounded from a horrid start (two for seven within the first quarter with an interception) to complete 15 of his closing 17 passes towards the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cousins

Kirk Cousins
Passer ranking:

ninety four.8

QBR:

sixty three.four

Briefly:

Cousins’ 381 passing yards have been probably the most by a

Washington Redskins

quarterback since 2010. He threw two interceptions, and general the Redskins dedicated seven turnovers, however it’s worth noting Cousins had the group in place to win in uncommon fashion. Over the past 26 seasons, teams with at the very least seven giveaways are now 1-56.

Peyton Manning
Passer rating: ninety two.four
QBR: 61.5
Briefly: Manning had been clicking on deep passes getting into Thursday night’s game against the Chargers, having completed eight throws that traveled not less than 15 yards downfield in each of his previous two games. He completed one other four such throws (in 5 makes an attempt) within the first quarter, but just one extra (in five makes an attempt) over the ultimate three.

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Passer score: 91.3
QBR: 60.zero
Briefly: Fitzpatrick’s 4 touchdown passes tied a career high and doubled his previous excessive this season with the Tennessee Titans.

Nick Foles
Passer rating: 103.5
QBR: fifty nine.four
Briefly: Foles has two interceptions in two games after going 238 passes without one.

Romo

Tony Romo
Passer score:

113.1

QBR:

fifty nine.zero

Briefly:

Romo doubled his season whole of fourth-quarter interceptions by throwing two Sunday. Since 2006, he has thrown an NFL-excessive seven interceptions when his crew is tied or leading by one possession within the fourth quarter or additional time of eventual losses.

Matt Ryan
Passer rating: 86.5
QBR: fifty three.7
Briefly: An interception and a misplaced fumble gives Ryan 18 turnovers this season, tying the profession high he set as a rookie in 2008.

Russell Wilson
Passer rating: 86.3
QBR: 49.1
Briefly: Wilson has began in 23 victories because the begin of the 2012 season, the most by a quarterback over his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era.

Andy Dalton
Passer rating: 86.4
QBR: forty seven.2
Briefly: Dalton attempted a season low three passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, completing a season-low certainly one of them.

Matt Flynn
Passer ranking: 80.zero
QBR: 46.8
Briefly: All 4 of Flynn’s landing passes got here when the Dallas Cowboys despatched 4 or fewer go-rushers.

Newton

Newton

Cam Newton
Passer score:

118.9

QBR:

39.6

Briefly:

Newton accomplished seven of 10 passes for 139 yards in opposition to the

New York Jets

‘ blitz. That average of thirteen.9 yards per try towards added stress was the highest of his profession with a minimum of 5 makes an attempt.

Matt McGloin
Passer ranking: fifty seven.1
QBR: 36.5
Briefly: McGloin committed 5 turnovers Sunday after limiting himself to 3 in his earlier 5 video games.

Mike Glennon
Passer score: 75.5
QBR: 35.8
Briefly: Glennon confronted four or fewer move-rushers on 37 of his 38 dropbacks, but was nonetheless sacked 4 occasions by the San Francisco 49ers.

Brees

Drew Brees
Passer score:

80.4

QBR:

35.5

Briefly:

Brees had a tough day towards the St. Louis Rams, throwing extra incompletions (five) than completions (four) on third down. He completed simply two of seven passes that traveled no less than 15 yards downfield, his second-worst completion share on such throws this season. The lowest got here towards the Seahawks (0-for-eight).

Geno Smith
Passer rating: sixty eight.6
QBR: 34.6
Briefly: Smith took four sacks in opposition to the blitz Sunday, and his 25 sacks in such conditions this season is the second-most in the NFL.

Chad Henne
Passer ranking: 73.5
QBR: 30.1
Briefly: Henne took 5 sacks Sunday, despite the fact that he confronted added pressure on 20.5 % of his dropbacks, the fourth-lowest share for all quarterbacks in Week 15.

Jason Campbell
Passer ranking: sixty seven.6
QBR: sixteen.7
Briefly: Campbell threw incomplete on six of seven third-down passes, but three had been dropped.

Case Keenum
Passer score: 42.three
QBR: three.1
Briefly: Two interceptions, 4 sacks and a fumble (not misplaced) led to a season-low QBR. Sunday also brought Keenum’s seventh consecutive sport with a completion proportion below 60.

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2014 NFL Draft order: Texans continue to hold No. 1 pick

Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; A normal view of the outside of Radio City Music Hall before the 2013 NFL Draft. Necessary Credit: Jerry Lai-USA AT PRESENT Sports activities

A majority of the Week 15 games at the moment are within the books, with just the Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions left to play. With most of the video games over, now we have another look at how the 2013 NFL Draft order will be taking part in out on the end of the season.

Once again, the Houston Texans stay the owners of the No. 1 total decide, while the St. Louis Rams hold choose No. 2 because of their commerce with the Washington Redskins before the 2012 NFL Draft.

After Houston and St. Louis, there is a logjam for the No. 3 choose, so it will be attention-grabbing to see how the order performs out over the ultimate two weeks of the season.

Here is a look at the current NFL Draft order with just one sport left to play at present:

Decide Team File Strength of Schedule
1 HOU 2 – 12 122 – 98
2 STL via WSH three – eleven 113 – 108 – 2
3 JAX four – 10 110 – 111
4 OAK 4 – 10 112 – 110
5 CLE 4 – 10 112 – 103 – 2
6 ATL 4 – 10 123 – 99 – 1
7 TB 4 – 10 128 – ninety four
8 MIN 4 – 9 – 1 114 – 103 – 2
9 BUF 5 – 9 116 – one hundred and five
10 NYG 5 – 9 117 – 104 – 2
11 PIT 5 – 8 104 – 112 – 2
12 TEN 5 – eight one hundred ten – 112
13 NYJ 6 – 8 108 – 112
14 STL 6 – 8 123 – ninety eight
15 DAL 7 – 7 107 – 114 – 2
16 SD 7 – 7 112 – 110
17 GB 7 – 6 – 1 a hundred – 117 – 2
18 DET 7 – 6 98 – 118 – four
19 BAL 7 – 6 104 – 113 – 2
20 ARI 8 – 5 119 – 103
21 MIA eight – 6 111 – one hundred ten
22 SF 10 – four 110 – 110 – 1
23 AUTOMOTIVE 10 – 4 110 – 112 – 1
24 KC eleven – 3 ninety six – 127
25 CHI eight – 6 100 – 115 – four
26 CLE by way of IND 9 – 5 108 – 112
27 PHI 8 – 6 one hundred and one – 119 – 2
28 CIN 9 – 4 103 – 114 – 2
29 NE 10 – 4 104 – 117
30 NO 10 – four 116 – 107
31 DEN eleven – 3 104 – 118
32 SEA 12 – 2 one zero five – a hundred and fifteen – 1

Matters: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Payments, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Draft, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

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Rams deny sloppy Saints from clinching playoff berth

ST. LOUIS – The New Orleans Saints appeared like a team playing out the string. And, though the St. Louis Rams are out of rivalry yet once more, they are not going quietly.

Drew Brees threw interceptions that led to touchdowns on the Saints’ first two possessions and the Rams got huge days from Zac Stacy, Robert Quinn and on special teams in a 27-16 victory Sunday.

Quinn had two sacks, giving him an NFC-leading 15, for a go rush that took the warmth off a young secondary. His quarterback hit on the Saints’ first snap of the game altered the flight of the ball on T.J. McDonald’s interception.

The Saints (10-4) missed their first probability to clinch a playoff berth, trailing 24-3 on the half, however made it look respectable with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. They’re unbeaten at residence, but simply 3-four on the road and play at Carolina with the NFC South lead on the line next week.

Kellen Clemens threw for two TDs within the first quarter, matching his greatest performance in seven games because the fill-in starter for Sam Bradford. The Rams (6-eight) recovered an onside kick to set up a discipline aim within the first quarter, and Michael Brockers blocked a discipline-purpose attempt at the end of the half.

Brees was 39 for fifty six for 393 yards, however with just one touchdown.

The Rams performed one in all their strongest video games of the yr a week after getting eliminated, and the franchise is assured of a 10th consecutive season and not using a successful file.

St. Louis’ offense had a pleasant day in opposition to Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who had an extended interview with the Rams in January before joining New Orleans.

The Rams have upset the Saints within the last two meetings in St. Louis. They were 2-14 in 2011, but one of the victories came against New Orleans, which totaled 13 wins that yr.

Stacy shook off an early injury scare and set a franchise rookie report with 106 yards by halftime, bettering the likes of Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, Steven Jackson and Jerome Bettis. Stacy finished with 132 yards on 27 carries.

Brees scored on a 1-yard sneak early within the fourth quarter and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston with three:07 to go. The Saints recovered an onside kick, but their comeback ended when Garrett Hartley was wide left on a 26-yard subject-purpose attempt.

Last week, Brees turned the quickest in NFL history to 50,000 yards passing whereas throwing for 4 TDs in a 31-13 victory over Carolina at residence. Brees was intercepted twice within the first quarter for the primary time in a decade, placing the Rams in prime scoring position on the first and killing a drive on the second.

The Saints trailed 17-zero early within the second quarter, unable to overcome Brees’ misfires.

Quinn had maybe his best sport of the 12 months. On his second sack, he stripped Brees and then recovered the fumble within the third quarter to assist preserve the Saints down.

Cory Harkey broke three tackles on a 31-yard landing catch the first play – just his seventh reception of the yr after Brees’ first interception.

Brees floated a rollout geared toward Jimmy Graham, who was in triple-protection, and Trumaine Johnson snared another underthrown cross at the aim line. The Rams drove ninety three yards, helped by a pair of personal penalties, and made it 14-zero on Clemens’ 4-yard go to a large-open Lance Kendricks.

The Rams followed up with good execution on an onside kick by kicker Greg Zuerlein recovered in the air by a leaping Stedman Bailey, establishing a subject purpose for a 17-0 cushion early in the second quarter.

Clemens got an opportunity to use the victory formation the Rams apply after Brockers blocked Hartley’s 36-yard field-objective attempt with two seconds left.

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Cardinals trade Freese for Angels’ Bourjos

Angels Get Freese In Deal With Cards

 

The St. Louis Cardinals have sent third baseman and former World Series MVP David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos as part of a four-player trade, the teams confirmed Friday.

David Freese

Third baseman David Freese, who hit only nine home runs last season for the Cardinals, has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels.

In addition to Freese, the Angels will receive reliever Fernando Salas. The Cardinals will receive outfield prospect Randal Grichuk.

Freese, a hero in St. Louis' 2011 World Series run, fell off markedly this past season. After hitting293 with 20 home runs and making the National League All-Star team in 2012, he batted262 with nine homers in 2013.

Freese's OPS dropped from839 to721, and he hit only179 (10-for-56) in the playoffs. Freese fills the third-base void in Anaheim that was created when the Angels traded Alberto Callaspo to Oakland in July.

Even if Freese fails to regain his 2012 All-Star form, he still appears to be a significant upgrade at third base for the Angels. Manager Mike Scioscia used seven players at that position last season, with Callaspo, Chris Nelson, Luis Jimenez and Andrew Romine logging the bulk of the at-bats.

Overall, Angels third basemen ranked 27th in the majors with an aggregate637 OPS, and they hit only eight home runs. Only Miami, with a total of three homers, got less power out of the third-base spot.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has made upgrading the pitching staff a prime focus of his offseason activity, and now he has about $4 million of added payroll. The Angels are hoping that Salas, who has 186 strikeouts in 192 1/3 big league innings, can help improve a bullpen that went 20-27 with a 4.12 ERA.

Bourjos, a superb defender in center field, is a strong candidate to take over the position from Jon Jay in St. Louis. With Freese gone, the Cardinals could slide Matt Carpenter to third base and play prospect Kolten Wong at second.

"We are excited to be adding the outfield defense and speed that Bourjos provides, and Grichuk is a top prospect who will be in the mix with some of our other top position players such as Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty " Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "We wish both David and Fernando the best and thank them for their contributions – especially the many memorable moments they provided during the 2011 championship season."

Grichuk was selected with the 24th overall pick by the Angels in the 2009 draft – one spot ahead of Mike Trout.

 

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Bears at Rams: odds, prediction and preview

Nov 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears operating back Matt Forte (22) breaks a sort out towards Baltimore Ravens strong security James Ihedigbo (32) to attain a landing through the second half at Soldier Area. Mandatory Credit score: Rob Grabowski-USA AT THE MOMENT Sports activities

The 6-4 Chicago Bears will try to improve their NFC North championship hopes after they travel to St. Louis to tackle the four-6 Rams Sunday.

The Bears will probably be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler for the third time this 12 months and if backup Josh McCown can defeat the Rams, he’ll be an ideal three-zero as a starter on the season. McCown has completed 61-of-one hundred and one passes for 754 yards with 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Rams also had to flip to a backup quarterback in Kellen Clemens after starter Sam Bradford tore his ACL in a 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers again on October 20. Clemens is 46-of-86 for 634 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Bears are coming off an 23-20 extra time victory over the Baltimore Ravens while the Rams enjoyed a bye every week after dismantling the Indianapolis Colts 38-eight.

The Bears’ defense is taking part in a lot better than it did earlier in the season they usually might want to keep it up against a Rams’ offense that has discovered a few rookie playmakers in huge receiver Tavon Austin and operating again Zac Stacey. Austin had two catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns and returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown in that victory over the Colts. Stacy has rushed for 537 yards and three touchdowns on 129 carries this season.

Though the Bears have had an excellent passing attack that includes large receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey and tight finish Martellus Bennett, they could have hassle defending McCown in opposition to the Rams’ cross rushers, Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Kyle Lengthy, Chris’ little brother, is a starting guard for the Bears.

Matt Forte, who has rushed for 774 yards and seven touches, will likely carry the load for the Bears again.

The Rams are a one-level favorite, but I just like the Bears to go away St. Louis with a detailed victory based on the improved play of their protection and strong play from McCown.

Who do you assume will win Sunday’s sport? Sound off within the comments section beneath and share your ideas and predictions.

Subjects: Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams

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Colts at Cardinals odds, prediction, and preview

Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA AT THIS TIME Sports

The Indianapolis Colts (7-3) tackle the Arizona Cardinals (6-4) this Sunday in Phoenix, AZ. Arizona is four-1 at residence and Indianapolis is four-1 on the road. The Cardinals are riding a 3 sport profitable streak, however the groups they have crushed throughout the streak have combined for 5 wins on the season. The Colts are their hardest opponent in over a month.

The Colts have a great file at 7-3, however their last three video games have been rocky. In week 9, the Colts needed a fifteen level fourth quarter to beat the struggling Houston Texans. In week ten, the Colts had their worst sport of the season with Andrew Luck throwing three interceptions in a 38-8 loss at home to the St. Louis Rams. Last week, the Colts bought again on track with a 30-27 win in opposition to the Tennessee Titans. It was a superb bounce again win, but a sample of first half deficits appears to be forming.

A obvious statistical difference between the 2 teams is their speeding defenses. The Cardinals are second in the league, limiting opponents to 81.4 yards per sport while the Colts are 28th , allowing 126.1 yards per recreation. Indianapolis’ dashing protection is probably not exploited by Arizona as a result of the Cardinals have the 25th ranked rushing assault at 85.6 yards per sport.

I believe predicting a winner in this recreation comes right down to the x-issue. Colts QB Andrew Luck is the x-factor. His leadership and overall talent level make up for being on the highway in opposition to a good staff. Not having WR Reggie Wayne will make it a close recreation, but the Colts will pull it out in the long run. Colts win 24-21.

Game data

Date: November 24, 2013

Begin time: 4:05 PM ET

Location: Phoenix, AZ

TV: CBS

Line: Arizona -1

Over/Below: 45

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Aqib Talib: Steve Smith’s trash talk ‘never personal’

Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; The officers separate Carolina Panthers vast receiver Steve Smith (89) and New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) within the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Obligatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA AT PRESENT Sports

The game between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots on Monday evening received off to a bodily start. Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib and Panthers huge receiver acquired bodily nicely after the whistle a couple of occasions early on. They were additionally clearly speaking to at least one another, highlighted by one instance the place Smith got in his face, however Talib says it isn’t private.

“By no means personal, man. It’s by no means private,” Talib mentioned, n 1453840_2521″ href=”http://www.nfl.com/podcast/aroundtheleague-podcast”>Wednesday’s “Across the League Podcast.” ”I’m sure if I see Steve, it’d be, ‘What’s up, how you doing?’ It’s by no means personal, man. Him and the opposite man from St. Louis (cornerback Janoris Jenkins), that was private. He didn’t say he was going to punch me in my face after the game. He just told me to go get within the tub.”

Smith did seem to be playful after the sport.

“Holding my leg and not letting me go? I play with my kids like that sometimes, but aside from that, I really haven’t had that,” Smith said, smiling. “Simply another notch on the bedpost.”

Albert Breer requested Smith what happened and Smith responds” “I don’t know, you’ll need to ask him cause he didn’t end the sport.”

“Ice up son, ice up.”

The feedback Smith made about Jenkins and Talib are different. At some point people are going to cease trying to get in his head.

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Jack Jewsbury: Portland Timbers “similar” to his 2004 Wizards team that overcame two-goal deficit

Photograph Credit score:

Craig Mitchelldyer, PortlandTimbers.com

BEAVERTON, Ore. – It was one of many precept highlights of Jack Jewsbury’s laudable eleven-12 months MLS career.

It was 2004, and Jewsbury’s then-Kansas Metropolis Wizards had been heading into the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs trailing the San Jose Earthquakes by two targets in the mixture.

Within the memorable game at Arrowhead Stadium, a first-half goal by Kansas City rookie Khari Stephenson gave the Wizards life. Then a second-half personal purpose by San Jose’s Brian Ching appeared to have the game destined for extra time.

However Jewsbury, then in his second skilled season out of St. Louis University, grew to become the unlikely hero with an exhilarating stoppage-time aim that sent his crew to the MLS Cup final. Now Jewsbury’s Portland Timbers are in the identical situation after their four-2 loss to Real Salt Lake final Sunday in the first leg of the Westerm Conference Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“I just remember once we were within the recreation and we have been in a position to get a goal in the first half, I feel that obviously modifications the game as a result of a two-purpose lead is a tricky one, you’re feeling pretty assured about where you’re at,” Jewsbury said, recalling that recreation in a conversation with MLSsoccer.com after Monday’s coaching session at the workforce facility. “But you get the primary one and the mindset modifications on either side.”

Even though Jewsbury stated there hasn’t been a lot discuss of the foremost hurdle the Timbers face heading into Sunday’s game at JELD-WEN Field (9 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes) and nor are his teammates asking about that sport in 2004, he did say he sees a lot of similarities in the two teams in how they’re approaching the challenge.

“It’s a very related locker room by way of there’s just a perception throughout the group,” Jewsbury stated. “No person is absolutely speaking about what a big surprise it will be if we had been in a position to overcome it. … It was a really arduous working trustworthy crew; it actually does remind me of this group, a very humble group and a group that was successful throughout the year. And it does have some mirror images of what this workforce stands for.”

And Jewsbury may very properly again play a key position if the Timbers are capable of match what the Wizards achieved nine years ago. The correct again has two assists within the playoffs after recording only one in the common season.

He said it’s been a mix of higher balls into the box on his part, timed with good runs and the protection collapsing on Portland’s harmful playmakers in the middle of the field, most notably Darlington Nagbe.

“We have now sufficient guys in the last third and our front 4 and five guys that they’ll create their very own probabilities. If there’s a chance to get ahead and get some balls in and create some chances, obviously I want to do that,” Jewsbury stated of his assists, which included the cross that set up the Timbers’ key second goal in stoppage time in opposition to RSL.

And in a game the place the Timbers will look to be on their front foot all night time, sending big numbers forward might imply one other situation for Jewsbury heroics.

“It’s a effective line since you wish to push forward and create chances,” he mentioned, “but on the end of the day, your first position is to stop them from scoring and maintaining a clear sheet.”

 

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Strahan, Dungy, Bettis among HOF semifinalists

 

The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced Feb. 1. (USATSI) The 2014 Professional Football Corridor of Fame class will be announced Feb. 1. (USATSI)

 

In September, 126 modern-era football players made the preliminary list for the category of 2014 Pro Football Corridor of Fame. On Wednesday, it was whittled all the way down to a semifinal list of 25.

Listed here are the 25 that survived the lower, by way of the HOF.

Morten Andersen, Ok – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings

Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets

Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-ninety five Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Derrick Brooks, LB – 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers

Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-ninety three Minnesota Vikings

Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Proprietor – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers

Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts

Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-ninety five Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-ninety six Dallas Cowboys

Marvin Harrison, WR – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts

Joe Jacoby, T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins

Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins

Walter Jones, T – 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks

John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos

Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Payments, 2000 Washington Redskins

Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Michael Strahan, DE – 1993-2007 New York Giants

Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Soccer League

Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

Steve Wisniewski, G – 1989-2001 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders

George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-seventy eight Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 Nationwide Soccer League

Eventually, this list will get knocked down to fifteen finalists (plus two senior nominees in Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey), and the HOF voters will talk about and determine in New York City on Feb 1. The election results will likely be introduced that night.

Observe Josh Katzowitz on Google+

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Pacioretty’s hat trick leads Habs over Wild

Pacioretty’s Hat Trick Leads Canadiens

 

MONTREAL – Loads of fingers had been pointed lately at Max Pacioretty and his middle, David Desharnais, for Montreal’s lack of scoring.

That situation was put to relaxation – at least for now – on Tuesday night time when Pacioretty had a natural hat trick within the second interval and the Canadiens skated to a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Pacioretty acquired his first objectives in 10 video games since Oct. 12 in Vancouver, although he missed eight video games with a leg damage during that stretch.

“There’s numerous issues in all probability being mentioned about me out there. That’s how it is in this enterprise while you’re not performing,” stated Pacioretty, who had been criticized for being a “perimeter” player of late, among other slights. “Everybody goes through it, but it felt good tonight.

“You can look at stats all you want but I missed quite a lot of good alternatives lately. One game I had eight photographs. It started entering into my head, considering that I can not score, so it’s positively a monkey off the again. The first one was fortunate, off a skate and in, but you are taking them as they arrive.”

Desharnais had two assists, giving him three factors in 20 video games this season. Solely last week, newly elected Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre brought on a stir when he prompt Desharnais be despatched to the minors. He was scratched for one game, but bounced back with higher efforts of late.

When he is on his recreation, the stocky middle is a intelligent passer and playmaker, though he appears to click best with Pacioretty.

Part of the breakthrough came when coach Michel Therrien put tenacious right wing Brendan Gallagher on their unit. That threesome was Montreal’s best line in the second half of final season.

Pacioretty went exhausting to the front of the web for 2 of his goals Tuesday.

“Davey and I, our chemistry is at a degree the place he is aware of the place I am going and he can throw blind passes, and that is what occurred,” Pacioretty mentioned.

“Gally will get everybody going,” he added. “He is an energetic player. With him moving into the forecheck and disrupting the protection a little bit, all it takes is a break up second. He is a hound on the puck and he got us going.”

Michael Bournival, Daniel Briere and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens, who managed solely 18 targets of their previous 11 games.

Nino Niederreiter and Dany Heatley scored for the Wild, who had won 4 straight. They were 7-zero-1 of their past eight video games since a 5-1 loss to Chicago on Oct. 28.

Minnesota seemed nothing just like the air-tight defensive membership that was piling up wins in recent weeks. As soon as Pacioretty’s first goal went in, the Wild put up little fight. Prime defenseman Ryan Suter ended the night time minus-three, while his partner, Jonas Brodin, was minus-four.

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo desires to see his workforce push back Wednesday night time in Ottawa.

“It’s all a matter how you are taking this one in,” Yeo said. “If we simply sit right here and say, `We have been on a nice run and this was certain to happen,’ then I don’t suppose we should count on much difference from tonight.

“If this stings like it should, it needs to be motivating for us to win that recreation.”

Wild starter Josh Harding, one of many NHL’s three stars for his three wins last week, was pulled in the second period for third-stringer Darcy Kuemper after allowing three goals on 19 photographs.

Kuemper seemed shaky in permitting three goals on nine pictures.

Yeo stated pulling Harding was partly to maintain him fresh to play in Ottawa. Harding has given up three targets solely twice this season, each times to Montreal.

Pacioretty’s hunch ended at 2:fifty seven of the second period when Desharnais’ pass went in off his skate from in front of Harding.

The Canadiens, coming off a 1-0 loss at residence to the New York Rangers on Saturday evening, had not scored since Lars Eller’s aim at 7:34 of the second period in a three-2 shootout win final Friday in Columbus.

Pacioretty converted a spin-around go from Desharnais at 10:06 at even power and then ended Harding’s evening when he tipped in P.Ok. Subban’s point shot on a power play at 13:36.

The one different hat trick of Pacioretty’s career got here on Feb. 9, 2012.

Bournival came from behind the web and beat Kuemper contained in the close to publish at 16:sixteen. Briere one-timed Brian Gionta’s cross-ice move behind Kuemper on a counter assault four:42 into the third.

Niederreiter spoiled Carey Worth’s shutout bid less than a minute later when he went to the net to bang in his own rebound after a feed from behind the online from Kyle Brodziak.

Galchenyuk converted Andrei Markov’s feed on a power play at 7:35.

Heatley jammed in a aim on a power play with 1.3 seconds left for his third aim in 22 games.

Recreation notes

The six objectives have been a season high for Montreal, and essentially the most allowed by Minnesota… Montreal wing Rene Bourque (lower physique) sat out and Ryan White returned to the lineup… Douglas Murray and George Parros were scratched… Minnesota sat defenseman Matt Dumba… The Wild started a four-sport street journey that takes them to Ottawa on Wednesday, Winnipeg on Saturday and St. Louis on Monday… In forty three profession video games towards Montreal, Heatley has 25 objectives and 52 factors.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scrivens wins again as Kings rout Lightning

Kings Win Fourth Straight

 

L. A. – Ben Scrivens performed in eight video games for the Los Angeles Kings this season and have become an unlikely NHL sensation over the past week – all with out ever stepping onto the Staples Middle ice.

When the goalie lastly bought an opportunity to win one for the home followers, he obtained loads of assist from his surging teammates.

Anze Kopitar and Matt Frattin each had a purpose and an assist, and Scrivens made 19 saves in the Kings’ 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Scrivens’ shutout streak ended at 191 minutes, 19 seconds, on Valtteri Filppula’s energy-play objective late in the second interval, but injured Jonathan Quick’s new backup cruised to his fourth consecutive victory in his residence debut.

“It was nice to play in entrance of our hometown followers,” Scrivens said. “However I will play every game they tell me to play.”

The undrafted Cornell product should play an important deal over the next few weeks, however the Kings are growing extra confident in him with every win.

Justin Williams also had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who have earned some extent in seven consecutive video games. Dustin Brown and Dwight King additionally scored in Los Angeles’ impressive return from a four-sport road journey.

“I had a extremely good feeling about tonight,” Williams stated. “Guys were jumping. Guys had been excited to play at residence once more. That cliche [about] the primary one at house after a protracted road journey [being tough] looks as if a variety of hogwash to me.”

Drew Doughty had two assists for the Kings, who are attempting to maintain tempo within the tough Pacific Division while Fast and top purpose-scorer Jeff Carter are out with accidents.

So far, it’s working: The Kings have not lost in regulation since Nov. 2, and so they scored five goals in a 23-minute stretch spanning the first two periods towards the Lightning, avenging a 5-1 loss in Tampa Bay last month.

Ben Bishop stopped 26 pictures in his first lack of November, and Victor Hedman had a goal and an help as the Lightning fell out of first place within the Eastern Conference with their second straight loss.

“This hasn’t happened in again-to-back video games for us this yr,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper stated. “This was the primary time we have been on the incorrect finish of the score twice in a row. Coming out west is a tricky journey. There are some good teams out right here, and I am certain L.A. was licking their chops slightly bit after what occurred to them in Tampa.”

With 31 factors, Los Angeles moved one point behind Chicago and Anaheim for the general NHL lead and into a 3rd-place tie with the Blues, San Jose and Phoenix.

After becoming a member of the Kings from Toronto during the summer time, Scrivens barely performed behind Fast in the first 18 video games.

However the Kings’ 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner strained his groin late in an additional time loss at Buffalo on Nov. 12, and Scrivens has been outstanding since, allowing two targets in a street win over the New York Islanders earlier than ending the journey with back-to-again shutouts.

Scrivens fell simply wanting Quick’s franchise-file shutout streak of 202 minutes, eleven seconds, however coach Darryl Sutter gave extra credit to his skaters than his goalie for the Kings’ recent defensive prowess.

“[Scrivens] did not have much work tonight,” Sutter said. “He made a big save in the third period. Our workforce, we don’t hand over so much.”

Boston handed Tampa Bay atop the Atlantic Division standings with a win over the Rangers earlier in the night.

Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis had an help in his 1,000th NHL recreation, but the Lightning are winless midway by means of their four-recreation West Coast journey, with Bishop struggling in each Phoenix and Los Angeles.

“It’s not a panic time,” St. Louis stated. “It’s nearly addressing the mistakes and correcting them. We have got to stop this. We do not need to turn a two-gamer right into a 4- or five-gamer. At the end of the day, we all must do extra. Generally onerous work is ignored over execution, but execution is just as necessary as working laborious.”

Kopitar has 16 factors in 14 games after a slow begin to the season, whereas Frattin scored simply his second aim in 21 games. Frattin arrived final summer along with Scrivens within the trade sending Jonathan Bernier to the Maple Leafs.

King put Los Angeles up 4-0 with a short-handed aim late within the second period, forcing a turnover and deflecting Linden Vey’s shot for his career-best seventh goal.

Filppula scored his crew-leading ninth purpose throughout the identical 4-minute power play. Moments later, Brown broke in alone for his second aim in 18 games after a steal by Frattin.

Sport notes

Los Angeles hasn’t allowed greater than two goals in seven straight video games… The Lightning made their first visit to Staples Center since Nov. four, 2010… Tampa Bay scratched F B.J. Crombeen for the third time this season. D Andrej Sustr additionally sat out for the sixth time in 21 video games.

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Johnson downplays sideline spat with Schaub

McGloin Leads Raiders Past Texans

 

HOUSTON – Andre Johnson left the field after being pushed away from quarterback Matt Schaub during a sideline spat Sunday, strolling into the Houston Texans’ locker room to chill off.

Following Houston’s 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders, the teammates talked about their argument, which stemmed from Schaub’s incompletion in the end zone to Johnson on the final play of the game.

“You can see the frustration on his face, frustration on my face,” Johnson said. “I’m not anxious about that. I feel you all are making a big deal about it.

“We talked about it – it is over with. I imply, me and Matt are nice. I’ve no issues with Matt. We played a lot of soccer together. Me and Matt have a very good relationship.”

Johnson and Schaub have performed loads of football together, however not lately. The Texans started Case Keenum of their past four video games, all losses, benching Schaub after he suffered a foot and ankle damage in opposition to the St. Louis Rams.

Schaub wouldn’t reveal what he and Johnson were arguing about on the sideline.

“It’s simply emotions, emotions of the sport, a fruits of plenty of issues, however stuff we are going to keep between us,” Schaub said. “He is a great man and an incredible competitor, as am I. Just the warmth of the moment, but that’s behind us.”

Schaub entered Sunday’s game late within the third quarter, replacing a wholesome Keenum.

Andre Johnson

Texans receiver Andre Johnson stated everything is okay with him and quarterback Matt Schaub regardless of a sideline spat.

“We had to make quite a lot of modifications from a safety standpoint to handle some of the things they had been doing,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak mentioned. “Making an attempt to create some tempo and do that and it made it very robust on Case, in my view, being a young participant.

“I knew that Matt could get executed some of the issues that I wanted to get performed, real quick, and to give us an opportunity to win the football game. In order that’s why I did it.”

Schaub completed 12 of 25 for a hundred and fifty five yards, no interceptions and no touchdowns. Keenum accomplished 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, one landing and one interception.

The Texans are 2-8, having lost a single-season franchise-record eight games in a row. Last week, Johnson known as it his most irritating season.

Johnson, a first-spherical choose in 2003, was requested if he was completely satisfied playing for the Texans shifting forward.

“I’m beneath contract, so, I’ve to play my contract out,” Johnson mentioned. “I can’t do anything about that.”

Johnson also was requested if he could be prepared to go through lean years once more.

“I’ve all the time said this this is the place I wished to be, so I do not really have something to say about that,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless have an ongoing contract.”

 

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Colts erase early deficit, rally past Titans

Colts Escape With A Win

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Indianapolis Colts maintain digging themselves into early holes – and proving they know easy methods to come back and win.

Donald Brown ran for two touchdowns, Andrew Luck added another and the Colts rallied yet again, this time beating the Tennessee Titans 30-27 on Thursday evening.

The Colts (7-three) trailed 14-zero in the first quarter and have been outscored 35-zero in the first quarter in their previous three games – two of them victories. Additionally they have trailed in six games after the first quarter this season.

“At the finish of the day, successful is what matters,” Luck stated. “We were fortunate in this sport to outlive our errors and have a chance to win… But we all know that is acquired to be mounted.”

Adam Vinatieri kicked three discipline objectives, together with a 50-yarder, and Coby Fleener had a career-excessive eight catches for 107 yards to assist the Colts bounce back fairly properly from a 38-eight dwelling loss to St. Louis. They have yet to lose again-to-again video games underneath coach Chuck Pagano and are eight-zero coming off a loss.

“Clearly, beginning out like that’s one thing we’re all too conversant in,” Fleener mentioned. “That’s something we now have to work (on) and get corrected.”

The Colts are again in command of the AFC South, too, now having crushed all three divisional opponents on the road.

“We’re not nervous about that yet,” Luck said. “We’re fearful about this next sport.”

The Titans (4-6) misplaced their second straight and fifth in six video games, blowing the large lead. Chris Johnson ran for 2 touchdowns and 70 yards in the first quarter however had solely 16 yards after that.

“We have got to seek out that successful formula, no matter it’s,” Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stated. “We have to find a approach to pull these games out at the finish. It’s a powerful locker room in there right now. That’s two in a row that type of slipped away from us. Two massive ones, two expensive ones for us.”

Fitzpatrick drove the Titans eighty yards in four performs, capping the drive with a 19-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker with 1:54 left. But the Titans, identical to they did in becoming the primary group to lose to Jacksonville this season on Sunday, couldn’t execute an onside kick with the ball protecting not even 10 yards earlier than Colts linebacker Pat Angerer lined it up.

The Colts had the ball for less than six minutes in the first quarter and wound up holding the ball greater than 32:23. Additionally they outgained the Titans 366-340 after Tennessee opened with a 148-4 edge in total offense with its fast begin.

Indianapolis sealed the victory with an 11-play drive capped by Brown with an eleven-yard TD with 3:01 left, and the Colts ran on 10 of the eleven performs for 60 yards. That was the Colts’ fourth drive of 11 plays or more, and Brown praised the maligned offensive line for a phenomenal job. So did Pagano, who mentioned the linemen took it personally.

“They’d a degree to prove,” Pagano mentioned.

Luck completed 23-of-36 for 232 yards passing.

The Titans got here out with the start they only want they’d Sunday, once they lost to Jacksonville 29-27. Fitzpatrick didn’t flip the ball over as soon as in changing Jake Locker, who is out for the rest of the season with a Lisfrac injury to his proper foot.

The Titans were up 17-6 at halftime and appeared to be in control because the Colts had a mini-meltdown with three personal fouls, together with linebacker Erik Walden head-butting Walker after ripping the helmet off the Titans tight end.

The Colts gained their fourth straight and for the ninth time in 10 video games over their divisional rival, with Vinatieri’s 30-yard subject objective as the primary half expired helping settle the Colts down. That was the first of 20 straight points, as they dominated within the third quarter, holding the ball for greater than 11 minutes in taking a 23-17 lead.

They opened the third quarter with an 11-play drive throughout which Luck accomplished all 5 of his passes for forty two yards, together with two on third down. Brown capped the drive with a 7-yard TD.

Then Devon Wylie, signed to the roster Tuesday for an injured Damian Williams at returner, bumped into teammate Craig Stevens and fumbled on the kickoff for Tennessee. Daniel Herron recovered for the Colts on the Titans’ 20, and Luck scrambled for an 11-yard TD two plays later.

It was yet another particular teams gaffe this season by the Titans.

“For whatever motive, we just can’t maintain on to the soccer,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “One other seven-level play really.”

The Colts pressured Tennessee to a three-and-out, and the Titans lastly held in forcing Indianapolis to a subject goal. Vinatieri kicked his third of the night, a 50-yarder that went just over the crossbar. That capped 17 unanswered points within the third quarter as Luck related on his first eight passes and was 9-of-11 for seventy one yards in the quarter.

Game notes

Vinatieri tied his career finest along with his fourth subject aim from a minimum of 50 yards this season. He is 4-of-6 this season in that vary… The Colts are eight-0 underneath Pagano when not turning over the ball… The Colts improved to four-1 on the highway this season… Walker caught a profession-high 10 passes for 91 yards… Titans WR

Justin Hunter

was being evaluated for a head injury.

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MVPs: Tigers’ Cabrera, Pirates’ McCutchen

McCutchen Wins NL MVP

NY – All those who marvel at Miguel Cabrera can only surprise what he might have performed this year if fully wholesome.

Even so, Cabrera was a huge hit in Motown.

Despite being hobbled by all kinds of ailments, the Detroit Tigers slugger gained his second straight American League Most Invaluable Player award Thursday, once again beating Angels outfielder Mike Trout by a snug margin.

A season after profitable baseball’s first Triple Crown in forty five years, Cabrera got here back to lead the majors in hitting at348 and finish second with 44 dwelling runs and 137 RBIs.

“I think this 12 months was tougher due to the accidents,” he said on a conference name from the Miami space.

“It was the last two months. It was tough to play through it,” he stated.

The eight-time All-Star missed a number of games after the break due to a foul back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower stomach, shin bother and a groin tear. He just lately had surgery to fix the tear and mentioned he’ll be ready for spring training.

Still, Cabrera acquired 23 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He turned the first participant to win consecutive AL MVPs since Frank Thomas for the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and 1994.

Pirates heart fielder Andrew McCutchen took the National League MVP award by a surprisingly large margin after leading a baseball revival in Pittsburgh.

McCutchen drew 28 of the 30 first-place votes to finish far ahead of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.

“I’m floating proper now,” McCutchen stated in Pittsburgh. “However I positively did not count on it to be a landslide with these other guys – Goldschmidt and Molina. They have been nice candidates, and I did not know what to anticipate.”

McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting317 with 21 dwelling runs and eighty four RBIs. He additionally scored ninety seven runs, stole 27 bases and had a404 on-base share.

The 27-12 months-previous with the long, flowing dreadlocks helped the Pirates cease a report streak of 20 losing seasons and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

Cabrera finished with 385 factors, while Trout received five first-place votes and 282 factors. The difference was eighty one points final season, when Trout was AL rookie of the yr.

Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who led the majors with 53 homers and 138 RBIs, was third.

“I think all three guys deserve this trophy,” Cabrera stated.

Davis and Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson every acquired a first-place vote.

Cabrera took his third AL batting title in a row. He additionally drew a $1 million bonus for successful a second MVP throughout his present contract with the Tigers.

No AL player has won three straight MVPs. Albert Pujols was the last repeat NL MVP winner in 2008 and 2009; Barry Bonds took 4 straight from 2001 to ’04.

The Tigers have just about owned the foremost postseason awards during a three-yr run of success. Justin Verlander was the MVP and Cy Young winner in 2011, Cabrera took the MVP final season, and Detroit ace Max Scherzer gained this year’s Cy Younger Award on Wednesday.

“I am on the fitting group,” Cabrera mentioned.

The 30-12 months-previous third baseman from Venezuela also captured the AL MVP final year when he hit330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs. Cabrera topped Trout 22-6 in first-place votes in that balloting.

Trout hit323 with 27 homers and ninety seven RBIs this year, stole 33 bases, and led the AL in runs and walks.

Cabrera clearly was baseball’s most dominant hitter for many of the season as the Tigers gained their third straight AL Central crown.

Voting for the BBWAA awards was completed earlier than the playoffs. Cabrera hit262 with two homers and 7 RBIs in 11 postseason video games, and made a couple of key outs in Detroit’s six-recreation loss to Boston in the AL Championship Collection.

Cabrera was in competition for a second straight Triple Crown for a lot of the 12 months, and was hitting359 with 43 homers and a hundred thirty RBIs by means of Aug. 26. However he managed only two extra-base hits in his next 25 games by way of the tip of the common season.

Cabrera mentioned he didn’t assume rest would have helped heal his injuries near the end.

Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera gained the American League Most Beneficial Player award for the second straight year.

As an alternative, he took a distinct approach: “OKAY, let’s play by means of it and see what occurs,” he stated.

Cabrera still grew to become the first proper-handed hitter to win three straight batting titles in both league since Rogers Hornsby from 1920 to ’25.

Cabrera additionally saved amazing his teammates with his prowess on the plate.

In mid-August, he homered in all three video games of a collection at Yankee Stadium, twice connecting off career saves leader Mariano Rivera.

His shot in the opener was probably the most spectacular, regardless that Detroit ultimately misplaced. After fouling two balls off his left shin, Cabrera was having hassle standing in the batter’s field when he tagged Rivera for a tying, two-run drive with two outs within the ninth inning.

Cabrera had bedeviled the Yankees before. As a 20-year-previous rookie, he helped the Marlins beat New York within the 2003 World Series.

McCutchen, third in MVP balloting final season, acquired 409 points. Goldschmidt finished second with 242, whereas Molina received the opposite two first-place votes and got here in third.

McCutchen’s win came two days after Pirates supervisor Clint Hurdle was picked because the NL manager of the year. McCutchen was the primary Pittsburgh participant to win the MVP since Bonds in 1992.

The Pirates went 94-sixty eight this year, a season after going 79-83. Along the way, McCutchen grew to become the face of the franchise and heard loud “MVP!” chants when he would step to the plate at PNC Park this summer season.

“I might mislead you if I mentioned it did not enter my thoughts ever,” he said. “It is awesome to hear one thing like that.”

Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati within the NL wild-card recreation, then lost to St. Louis in a division series that went the total five games.

Boston wound up beating St. Louis in the World Collection. No one on the Pink Sox or Cardinals won any of the key BBWAA awards.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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